A Gateway MX6124 is giving me serious heartburn. It locks up at random very frequently, to the point of being unusable. It has a 2GB memory module, and it's running XP SP3, fully updated. Here are my experiences:
1. The Gateway INF file will not install. When I try to do so, I get "Diskcannot be read" error. There is not a problem with the file or with the drive. The file has been downloaded multiple times and run from both a hard drive (multiple instances) and from a USB drive. There is something wrong with the build. The generic Intel INF drivers for this motherboard appeared to load correctly.
2. The Conexant_Audio_6.14.10.0565.exe drivers will not install. If I go to Windows Update, Conexant drivers load and work. There have been similar reports in other posts.
3. The hard drive and the memory are rather new. There are no problem areas on the hard drive. The memory module just passed MEMTEST with no problems.
At this point, the only two things that I can think of are:
1. The memory module is a single 2GB module. The Crucial site says that the unit has a limit of 1GB per slot. This problem is not likely because it should work or not work, and MEMTEST says there is no problem with the memory.
2. Maybe it would make sense to use the Intel utility to load only Intel generic drivers where they are available. It seems that Gateway forgot about this computer a long time ago. It belongs to someone who does not have enough money to throw it away and buy a new one.
Do you have any suggestions for further troubleshooting?
At this point, I'd try to back up anything vital and get out the restore disks or if it has the original HDD, get into the recovery partition to restore it back to factory conditions. If you can get that far and things continue as mentioned above, it could be a hardware issue. Before that though, if you have the old memory laying around, give that a try to make sure it isn't an issue with the 2GB stick you have in it.
Part of the problem is that the computer would not POST. After removing power and starting it again several times, it would finally boot. Thinking that the 2GB module I installed several months ago may be the problem, I put a second 2GB memory module in. Now, the computer boots every time. I thought the problem was solved. Then, last night, it started locking up again requiring a hard reboot.
It seemed like the problem might be temperature related, so I installed a CPU temperature monitor utility. The temperature is vacillating between 59 and 65C. Those temperatures are normal. The computer ran all night without locking up.
The only remaining options I see are 1) reinstall Windows in case something installed correctly with a bad memory module, and 2) try a 1GB memory module, which I'd have to go buy. The computer did not start locking up until after I reinstalled Windows in August, 2010. That may be relevant, it may be a coincidence. It never locked up in the Safe Mode, again pointing to a memory issue.